Medical bills can create some stressful and emotionally trying situations. The resulting medical debt can be particularly painful, because:
If you're struggling with debt relating to a medical emergency, a local bankruptcy lawyer can help you evaluate your debt-relief options. Connect with an attorney near you today for free:
Typically, when you make a purchase, you can see the full cost on the price tag, and again on the receipt. Even your utility bills clearly spell everything out.
But when treating an illness or injury, there can be many expenses, and the bills can continue long after your initial treatment.
If you're insured, you probably pay a straight co-pay at each doctor's visit. But this payment won't cover additional tests or services that occur. What's more, these tests may be processed by an outside lab. So you could leave a doctor's office owing them nothing and then receive a bill from the lab.
If you have surgery, you may need pre-operation doctor visits as well as post-operation check-ups. All of these will cost you, as will any lab work or prescriptions you need. And even if you are insured, most health insurance policies have limits. If your condition is serious or severe, you will likely have to pay out of pocket.
A Harvard University study found that people with insurance and serious medical debt faced medical bills of more than $17,000. What's more, medical bills are often due all at once. Unlike credit card bills, you may be required to pay for all of your services at once unless you arrange special conditions prior to billing.
You may even receive a bill even if your procedures are covered by insurance. If your insurance company is slow to pay or working on a dispute or negotiation with your hospital, you could receive a bill. And if you don't pay, then it could be sent to a collection agency. This action will be reported to the credit monitors and your credit score could be affected.
What can be even more debilitating than expensive medical bills can be the lost income that results from missed time at work. If your injury or illness causes you to miss work, even for a short period of time, you could see it cause a ripple effect through your finances.
Even if you have "supplemental insurance" that provides money when you miss work, you may have to make ends meet for weeks or months while your claim is processed.
But a loss of income can lead to:
In the face of unexpected and out-of-control medical bills, you have lots of factors working against you. Fortunately, if you need protection and help, both are readily available.
Medical bills are considered "unsecured debt" and may be eliminated or significantly reduced in bankruptcy. A medical bankruptcy filing under Chapter 7 can protect your assets from repossession and stop wage garnishment.
A local bankruptcy lawyer can explain, in detail, how the bankruptcy laws in your state are designed to provide the relief from medical debt that you need. Speak with a bankruptcy lawyer today about how the process works, and how filing bankruptcy can eliminate your medical bills.
To connect with a bankruptcy lawyer near you, simply fill out the free case evaluation form on this page and we'll put you in touch right away.